QLD 2022-23 budget invests $510 million in water projects

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The Queensland Government invested $510 million in infrastructure and water planning in the 2022-23 state budget.

Queensland Water Minister Glenn Butcher says more than $447 million has been earmarked for water security projects, which build on the Queensland Government’s record investment in infrastructure hydraulics.

“Over $300 million has been committed to deliver the Toowoomba pipeline project to Warwick to provide a drought emergency for Warwick and surrounding communities and a permanent water supply to satellite communities in Toowoomba,” Mr. Butcher.

“In the Far North of the State, $107.5 million over the next two years has been committed to consolidate Phase 1 of the Cairns Water Safety Program, to meet the growing needs of the Far North .

“$40.4 million over three years has been allocated for the construction of a potable water pipeline from Gracemere to Mt Morgan, as well as necessary upgrades to water infrastructure at Gracemere.

“We have committed $26 million to the Lansdown Eco-Industrial Precinct to enable infrastructure, including a reservoir and 13km pipeline, connecting the neighborhood and pump station to the Haughton Pipeline – another project funded by the Queensland government.

“Further west, the community of Hughenden will benefit from $25.6 million for the development of the Flinders Shire Council’s Hughenden Water Bank project: a 7,000 ML off-stream water storage and distribution system to support the development and expansion of irrigated agriculture and the development of industry.

Butcher said those funds could be released quickly, once projects have been carefully assessed and relevant business cases, which are nearing completion, have been submitted and any necessary federal contributions committed.

“We’ve heard from regional Queenslanders that it’s the projects that are important to them. We are ready to continue supporting regional communities in Queensland because we know water is essential to jobs, growth and quality of life in these regions,” said Mr Butcher.

Continuation of water programs

The Queensland Government said the highly successful Building our Regions Round 6 program will move forward with $39 million allocated in 2022-23 to further support regional communities with urban water supply and treatment infrastructure.

“Through Building our Regions, we are empowering Queensland councils to make their regions the best they can be. Improving water services is so important to the quality of life in our regions,” Mr. Butcher said.

Cloncurry Community Service Obligation payments will continue, with nearly $28 million over four years to subsidize water delivery to Cloncurry Shire Council, via the North West Queensland Pipeline.

Stage 2 of the Rural Water Futures program also received $9.3 million in funding over the next two years to ensure that the state’s precious water resources are managed sustainably in the future and to deliver tangible benefits to irrigators, the environment and the community at large.

The 2022-23 budget documents also detail the significant spending our Crown corporations continue to make on water infrastructure in this state.

This includes funding to prepare for reconstruction of the Paradise Dam, study of additional water supply, upgrading of regional dam recreation areas, completion of the Southwest pipeline, dam improvement programs and investments in critical infrastructure in Central and North West Queensland.

Other investments

Safe and secure water supply is a clear priority in this year’s budget, with the following investments also confirmed:

  • $7.1 million allocated over four years to improve water modeling capacity to support water planning, water security and infrastructure assessments
  • $5.5 million provided over four years to develop a Queensland Bulk Water Infrastructure Assessment Plan, a strategic framework to inform future water infrastructure investment decisions
  • $4.9 million over four years for a Queensland Rural Water Compliance System, to develop improved systems and capabilities, which will support compliance and enforcement by the Department of Water Act 2000
  • $3.4 million over four years to address the recommendations of the Queensland Audit Office report on dam safety regulation, including hiring specialist regulatory, compliance and engineering staff and further developing the capacity of information and communication technology

The government is providing additional funding of $300,000 in 2022-23 to the State Council of River Trusts Queensland to continue to support the work of River Improvement Trusts across the state.

“It’s a budget that takes into account the whole of Queensland. Water is one of our most valuable assets and we have always said that we will fund projects that will provide jobs, growth and security for all of our communities,” said Mr. Butcher.

“I can’t wait to see the difference our continued investment in water is making in this state.”

Mount Morgan Pipeline Funding Welcomed

Rockhampton Regional Council has welcomed the $40.4 million funding commitment for the Mount Morgan water pipeline.

Rockhampton Regional Council Mayor Tony Williams said delivering on one of the Council’s top advocacy priorities is a fantastic outcome for the community of Mount Morgan.

“It’s something that this Council has actively lobbied for, both federally and at the state level, so that’s great news,” Mr Williams said.

“This commitment, combined with federal funding of $3.5 million and the Council’s contribution to completing the business case, now makes this project possible.

“From there, the next step will be to move forward with detailed design and we’ll talk to the community as we move towards construction.”

Rockhampton Water Councilor Donna Kirkland said the pipeline project would benefit all ratepayers in the area.

“The council has to spend about $5 million a year trucking water up Mount Morgan, so getting this project funded now is a win for our whole region,” said Cr Kirkland.

“What it does do is bring certainty to the residents of Mount Morgan and we look forward to seeing that come to life in the near future because I’m sure they will too.”

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